Peavy collected something even bigger on Tuesday night -- a win over his idol.
"What an honor, man," said Peavy, 24. "It was just a tremendous feeling just to be on the same ball field as somebody that you idolize and have a chance to compete against him. It was a well-pitched game and I'm just glad we came out on top."
Peavy (11-6) had a single off Clemens with one out in the eighth, one of five hits allowed by the seven-time Cy Young award winner. Clemens threw his first complete game since July 30, 2003, at Anaheim, and the 118th of his career.
After Nolan Ryan retired, Clemens became Peavy's idol. The two met when they played together on a major-league all-star team that toured Japan in the offseason, and were on the NL All-Star team together.
"I was excited," Peavy said. "I knew the biggest thing for me was not letting my emotions get out of control."
Peavy managed to get out of two bases-loaded jams, and manager Bruce Bochy let him finish.
"It was close to a playoff atmosphere," Peavy said. "This crowd was into it every pitch. Really, when I went out there for the ninth, with that crowd behind you, it's going to be hard to blow it."
Peavy saved a game ball, and Bochy gave him a lineup card.
Clemens retired 17 consecutive batters before Brian Giles homered with one out in the seventh for a 2-0 lead. Giles drove a high fastball into the seats in right field on a 2-1 count, his 13th.
It was just the eighth homer allowed this year by Clemens (11-6), who lost for only the second time on the road this year. His ERA, best in the majors, bumped up to 1.56 overall and 0.56 on the road.
Clemens was aware of how much Peavy idolized him.
"That's great. It makes me feel older," said the 43-year-old.
"When I step away from the game, our game is in good hands," Clemens said. "We have some good, young talented players, everyday guys, and definitely pitchers. He's right there at the top of the list. You feel you pass the baton along to the next generation of guys. I think the fans out here will enjoy this kid for a long time."
After Giles' homer, Ryan Klesko doubled into the left-center gap and Mark Loretta walked before Clemens recorded the final two outs. After throwing 60 pitches through six innings, Clemens threw 20 in the seventh.
Clemens struck out seven and walked one. Peavy struck out six and walked two.
"Both guys pitched great," Bochy said. "That's the type of game we all expected. Young gun Jake did what we needed, threw zeros up there, because Roger was on top of his game. That's a fun game to watch, the young guy going against one of the best."
The NL West-leading Padres climbed within one game of .500 (62-63). Houston dropped a half-game behind Philadelphia in the wild-card race.
Dave Roberts tripled to right-center field on Clemens' second pitch of the game and scored on Giles' opposite-field single to left with one out. Clemens ended the inning when Klesko hit into a double play.
Peavy escaped bases-loaded jams in the third and sixth innings.
Houston's Willy Taveras led off the sixth with an infield single and he took second on catcher Miguel Olivo's throwing error. He went to third on Lance Berkman's single before Morgan Ensberg walked to load the bases. Taveras was forced at home on Jason Lane's grounder to first. Adam Everett hit a grounder that bounced off Peavy's glove to shortstop Damian Jackson, who threw him out to end the inning.
In the third, Peavy induced Berkman to ground out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The Astros were shut out for the 15th time, most in the majors.
"How stupid can it get?" manager Phil Garner said. "You just keep getting shut out, it's just stupid."
- Clemens has allowed five earned runs in 81 innings on the road. This was the first time he allowed more than one earned run in a road start.
- Several Astros players and members of the coaching staff visited Marines at Camp Pendleton earlier Tuesday.
- Padres RHP Adam Eaton is scheduled to come off the DL on Friday and start against Colorado.